Muscat: Mortality rate in the Sultanate due to road accidents is 16.1 per 100,000 population, which is below the regional average of 18 per 100,000 population. This is revealed in a report presented at the first meeting of the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Forum for Road Safety Legislators being held here. The report points out that the majority of the victims are males in
the age group of 15 to 29.
The three-day meeting is organised by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, under the auspices of Dr Mohammed bin Saif al Hosni, Under-Secretary for Health Affairs, in the presence of Dr Akjimal Magtymova, WHO Representative to the Sultanate.
A total of 78 specialists representing 15 countries of the Eastern Mediterranean region along with experts from Spain, Finland, Sweden and the Philippines are attending the meeting. The meeting aims to review the regional road safety situation based on the findings of the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018, with special focus on leadership, legislation, adolescents and youth.
Dr Akjimal pointed out that road safety continues to be a major public health and development challenge globally and in our region. “As reflected in the WHO Global Road Safety Status
Report 2018, road crashes cause approximately 1.35 million deaths in the world every year and as many as 50 million people are injured, with many sustaining permanent disabilities,” she said.
Road traffic injury is now the leading cause of death among children and young adults aged 5-29 years at the global level, the WHO representative said. Dr Akjimal also indicated that the Eastern Mediterranean Region has the third highest road death rate in the world. Road traffic injuries continue to be a problem for all countries in the region, regardless of their income level. “Young people, at the height of their potential and productivity, are the worst affected. Road crashes are the second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults aged 15-29 in our region after collective violence”, she said.
The meeting also discussed a number of researches and working papers of international experts in the field of health and transportation addressing the regional perspective of road safety and global context of traffic safety policies and others. The meeting seeks to launch a regional network for parliamentary legislators in the field of road safety, agree on its governance structure, as
well as the future required procedures. It highlights the participants’ vision on developing a proposed regional framework to accelerate the procedures towards achieving the global goals of road safety with the focus on the adolescents and youth.